$1.3 Trillion Federal Spending Bill Approved—Good News for Transit and Community Development Programs

It was touch and go there for a little bit today, but in the end President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that spares many transit and community development programs.

2 minute read

March 23, 2018, 1:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Campaign Rally

president Trump at a campaign rally in Pittsburgh on March 10, 2018. | Jack Fordyce / Shutterstock

President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill into law today, averting a government shutdown and resolving the ongoing mystery of how much funding for capital investment in transit and programs for the Department of Housing and Urban Development would survive the Republican party's control of Congress and the presidency.

Here's how Michael Grunwald describes the political drama that has flavored the Trump Administration's spending and legislative priorities in the first year-plus of its existence:

President Donald Trump’s budget proposals have taken a hatchet to President Barack Obama’s top priorities. They’ve called for deep cuts in renewable energy, medical research and nonmilitary spending in general. They’ve eliminated TIGER, a grant program for innovative transportation projects created by Obama’s stimulus bill; ARPA-E, an energy research agency launched by the stimulus; and CDBG, a community development program many Republicans consider an urban slush fund.

What then was the actual result of all those pronouncements by the Trump Administration? "Now the Republicans who control Congress have passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, and it not only protects Obama’s priorities, it expands them," writes Grunwald.

President Trump's displeasure with the substance of the omnibus spending bill could be detected throughout the day leading up to his signing the bill. He spent the morning threatening to veto the bill and said he would "never sign another like this," but sign the bill, he did.

For more details on the substance of the omnibus spending bill, see articles posted earlier this week by Dylan Matthews for Vox and another by a trio of reporters for the Washington Post. CBS and the AP published an article about the details of the bill earlier this week. Planetizen Correspondent Irvin Dawid also reported on the consequences of the bill for the beleaguered Amtrak Gateway Program.

Here are a few key takeaways with regard to federal programs that fund planning efforts around the country:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 in Associated Press via CBS News

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Pumping Gas

10 States Where the Gas Tax Is Highest

As the gap between gas tax revenue and transportation funding needs widen across the country, the funding mechanism is drawing increased scrutiny from both public officials and consumers.

June 9, 2024 - The Ascent

Brick high-rise apartment buildings in New York City

Study: Housing Crisis is About Affordability, not Supply

New research shows that there is no overall shortage of housing units, but all U.S. metropolitan areas face a severe lack of affordable units for low-income renters.

5 hours ago - University of Kansas

Couple on one side of desk with banker on other side looking at paperwork.

Are Race-Based Lawsuits Affecting Community Lenders?

Shelterforce spoke with community lending leaders and experts about the current mood across the sector. What, if anything, are organizations doing to avoid becoming the next target of conservative activists?

6 hours ago - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of Glory Park in Lewisville, Texas.

New Park Promotes Community and Connectivity in Lewisville, Texas

The city of Lewisville just celebrated the opening of Glory Park/Parque la Gloria, helping to improve park access and the quality of life for residents.

7 hours ago - Lewisville Leader

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.